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June 19, 2014

Noble and Benevolent

Image: Flickr/ashley.adcox

Image: Flickr/ashley.adcox

“Selective ignorance, a cornerstone of child rearing. You don’t put kids under surveillance; it might frighten you. Parents should sit tall in the saddle and look upon their troops with a noble and benevolent and extremely nearsighted gaze.” (Garrison Keillor)

Think of all the stupid things you did as a kid. How many harmless mistakes did you make that actually taught you something, or at least serve as fodder for laughter now that you’re a grown up? Don’t your kids deserve the same luxury? It would be an awful existence to have someone watching over your shoulder, evaluating not only what you are doing, but why you’re doing it.

If you really want to give your kids a great childhood, practice what Keillor calls “noble and benevolent” parenting. Leave the micromanaging out and give your kids room to be kids. Avoid that urge to ask them why they did something stupid. Chances are, they don’t know. If they do, you probably won’t be pleased with their reasons.

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